Store on the side of the road | Rock Candy

Store on the side of the road



HOT AND SWEET:  Cinnamon rolls at Hankins Country Store
  • Grav Weldon
  • HOT AND SWEET: Cinnamon rolls at Hankins Country Store

There's something wonderful to be said about those out of the way country stores. Some are just waystations to fill up and feed up; others are places to grab a burger or a snack. And a few become destinations in themselves.

A Facebook fan had keyed me in on Hankins Country Store, an older property at Pelsor along Scenic Seven. There's been a business going in the store since 1922, but on my last trip up I had noticed the building was empty. This reader had told me I needed to drop in and have myself a bread pudding muffin. Since I’ve been on a breakfast trek this summer, I had to add it to my travels. So when Grav and I hit the road in July to head for Jasper, we planned a stop-in.

  • Grav Weldon
But the scent we picked up when we pulled into the small parking lot was of pork ribs smoking in a small black contraption out front of the store. We pulled in and took out the cameras. The store was alive and active.

Grav questioned a guy who came out to check on the smoker about the delicious scents. I went on in to see if I could find these pastries.

Jennie Yohn was just walking a big hot pan of pecan rolls over to the old school bakery case. She smiled at me and asked if I was interested in having one. I asked her in turn if it was all right for me to take photos of the place. She looked a little puzzled but agreed.

STICKY, NUTTY:  Pecan rolls
  • Grav Weldon
  • STICKY, NUTTY: Pecan rolls
  • Kat Robinson
Grav came through the door, very cheerful about the smoker. “They’re doing beef brisket later today!” he told me, quite happy about this news. I pointed at the bakery case, which was starting to fog up from the just inserted pecan rolls. He also asked to shoot photos and got underway. It was nearly nine in the morning. The place smelled heavenly.

Turns out, the baked goods and the ribs and all other sorts of stuff are served up almost daily from six in the morning to six at night as part of Blue Mountain Bakery, the eats place run by Yohn and her husband, Roy. That’s not all you’ll find there — they also carry all sorts of sundries and groceries and things you might need if you’re planning to camp in the area or if you forgot something.

  • Grav Weldon
We ended up walking out of there with a pecan roll and the bread pudding muffin I was there to try in the first place. As breakfast pastries, you could do far worse. The pecan roll was a symphony of butter-type notes, full of cinnamon and caramelized pecans with that great bready base. The bread pudding muffin was unusual and would have benefited from a quick pop in the microwave had we been thinking about it, but still nice and custardy. We marked it down for further investigation.

If you want to check it out, head to Pelsor and take a step north of the post office on Highway 7 or call (870) 294-5151.

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